When choreographer-turned-director Kevin Tancharoen debuted a short film on YouTube inspired by the Mortal Kombat video game franchise, two things happened:
1. The Internet exploded in a fury of excitement for live-action Mortal Kombat
2. Rumors spread like wild fire as to why anyone gave him money to make a Mortal Kombat film.
The logical theory: Warner Bros. was testing the waters for a new film. Or was it a tie in to a new video game? Or was Tancharoen just a really big geek who took his fan fiction seriously?
The answer? All off the above. Tancharoen originally shot the film with his own money as a spec, a way of proving to people that he was more than just "the guy who helped Britney Spears learn to dance" or "the guy who directed that OK remake of Fame." The short film got him a gig directing a series of Mortal Kombat web shorts that were equally as well-received and now, according to Hollywood Reporter, the journey as concluded with Tancharoen finally landing the gig of director of a Mortal Kombat reboot.
The new movie will be written by Oren Uziel (who wrote Tancharoen's web series, Mortal Kombat: Legacy), but it's unknown if the series' original stars Michael Jai White and Jeri Ryan will make it to the big screen. There aren't too many details, but if Warner Bros liked what they saw of, then the new movie will most likely maintain Tancharoen's reality-based approach. Think Batman Begins by way of karate chops, alternate dimensional baddies and the occasional bloody fatality.
No word on when we might expect to see the feature film, but if you need a taste of what's in store for Mortal Kombat's future, check out Tancharoen's original short Rebirth.
Source: Hollywood Reporter
Ah, springtime. It's the time of fresh flowers, new love, and -- um -- old-ass witches? Well, in Rob Zombie's world, that seems to be the case. The musician/director/screenwriter has decided that this spring is the perfect opportunity to shoot his next movie, The Lords of Salem. This past fall, Zombie signed on to direct the film, which, according to The Hollywood Reporter, is the third film from the Haunted Movies banner, a partnership between the U.K.’s Alliance Films and Paranormal Activity producers Jason Blum, Oren Peli and Steven Schneider.
The Lords of Salem takes place in the birthplace of all things scary, Salem, Massachusetts, and is about how some 300-year-old witches haunt the current residents. Back in the fall, Zombie hadn't written the script yet -- and there still isn't any word that it's been completed -- so maybe this film will test the waters of the new experimental genre everyone is talking about, improv horror.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
John Q is just your ordinary average blue-collar worker in Middle America trying to make ends meet. Unfortunately things are slow at the plant and John's hours have been cut in half. To make matters worse his wife's car has just been repossessed and he can't find a second job to bring in more income. Then the hammer really falls: his son collapses during a Little League game and the doctors say the boy needs a new heart--and fast--or he will die. When John finds out that his insurance won't cover the operation (his policy has been downgraded by his company because his hours were cut) and that the hospital won't put his son on the organ transplant list without a stiff up-front cash payment John takes matters into his own hands. Holding the ER hostage John demands that the hospital put his son on the organ transplant list.
Denzel Washington is Everyman letting his hair get unruly packing on some un-Hollywood-star inches around the middle and wearing nothing but cheap hats and jeans. Despite some silly screenwriting Washington manages to raise John above soap-opera dramatics and weak polemics ("The enemy is us--we shot down national healthcare") with genuine emotion and convincing resolve but barely. James Woods is perfect as the sniveling smarmy and supercilious doctor but unfortunately he and the rest of the talented cast are wasted as one-dimensional characters and saddled with routine clichéd dialogue. Anne Heche (who should be commended for taking on such a villainous role) is the icy hospital administrator; Robert Duvall is the by-the-book hostage negotiator; Ray Liotta is the trigger-tempered police chief; and Shawn Hatosy is the big-city brat who just won't stand for being a hostage. The rest of the hostages aren't even remotely interesting nor are any of the other characters.
While weak dialogue is partially to blame when a cast as strong as this one can't breathe real life into their characters some of the culpability must be laid at the feet of the director. Nick Cassavetes' (She's So Lovely) movie suffers from heavy-handed treatment: every five minutes the audience is beaten over the head (again) as someone rails against the country's failing health system and places guilt on this party or that complete with obligatory tight close-up shot (and halo) directly on that character. Not to mention Cassavetes tips his hand with the opening scene. The patter by screenwriter James Kearns (TV's Highway to Heaven) is cute at times but on the whole the script is didactic yet inane and would make for a poor episode of E.R.. The story however does manage to engage the audience on an emotional level with its timely message. One cannot help but root for John Q no matter his vigilante ways. After John's denouement Cassavetes closes the film with news clips of celebrities stumping for the cause. This is typical of the movie as a whole; while it attempts to deal with the serious issue of health care reform it only does so on the most superficial level.